In January 2021 the University implemented revised Capital Expenditure procedures and a new Investment Board (Capital, Enterprise Systems and Infrastructure Strategy - CESIS) to allow clear documentation, authorisation and approval routes for investment.

This aims to further improve the governance of the Capital Programme and ensure any investment is in line with the University's strategic objectives set out in the University Strategy. For full information you can download the latest detailed version of the Capital Procedures from the Documents section below.

Capital Procedures document


A summarised version of the procedures can be seen by downloading the training presentation: Capital Procedures presentation.

Document sections

The procedures in the document have been broken down into four sections covering:

  1. Scope and Definition (Procedures ref: Section A)
  2. Planning (Procedures ref: Section B)
  3. Project Appraisal and Authorisation (Procedures ref: Section C)
  4. Monitoring (Procedures ref: Section D)

Key points to note

Within the four main sections of the procedures there are a number of key points to note with regards to the way in which the University will review, prioritise and approve capital projects. These are detailed below with reference to where further information can be found.

  • Proposed projects will need to show and explain how they link to the University’s strategic objectives.
  • Revenue projects >£200k (which meet the definition of a project) should also be approved following these procedures.
  • Project Appraisal and Approval should be fully approved at a departmental level prior to submission to CESIS.
  • Project documentation required for submission to and approval by CESIS including - Project Proposal Form (PPF), Pre Request for Authority (PRFA), Request for Authority (RFA) and Revised Request for Authority (RRFA).
  • Requirement to specify “key deliverables” at the outset of a project.


Below are links to each of the project approval documents. Support for the completion of any of these will be provided by the Capital Accounting Team on request.

Key committees and approval limits

There are four committees which may be included in the approval and delivery of a project dependent upon the total cost of the project. Below are links to the University web pages for each committee which provide Terms of Reference and upcoming meeting dates for each. Project approval limits are shown on the Approval limits section below.

Capital, Enterprise Systems and Infrastructure Strategy Board (CESIS)

Finance Committee

Management (UEB)

University Council

Find out when the above committees are meeting in the "University committees" section of the Governance web page.

Financial ThresholdsApproval Committee
Novel projects and/or high risk (including reputational risk) Council
Over £8m Finance Committee
£4m - £8m UEB
£0.5m - £4m CESIS
Up to £500k* Project Board*

*A project board would not be permitted to grant initial approval to its own project; this would need to be approved by CESIS. The project board could then approve variations from this original approval, to be reported to and monitored by CESIS as part of the normal capital forecasting process.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Please find below a list of frequently asked questions.

Q: How do I get a project included within the Capital Programme?
A: A project proposal form (PPF) will need to be submitted by the project sponsor to the Capital Accountant. This will then be considered (in terms of affordability) by CESIS.

Q: At what point would a project have full approval to proceed?
A: Full project approval is obtained once a Request for Authority form has been submitted to the Capital Accountant and then approved by the relevant committee. 

Q: Where can I get the approval documentation to submit for a project?
A: Approval documentation can be obtained from the capital expenditure webpage within the documents tab.

Q: Where can I find the committee meeting dates?
A: All key committee dates can be found through the capital webpage "Committees" section above. Within there are links to committee webpages and also a Governance calendar which has all key dates scheduled.

Q: The cost of the project has increased; what should I do?
A: If the projected cost of a project increases by the lower of 10 per cent or £250,000 (measured against the signed of project amount on the RFA) then a Revised Request for Authority (RRFA) should be submitted. In addition if a projected project cost increases in value such that it crosses an approval limit a RRFA should be submitted.

Q: The project is expected to be delayed; what should I do?
A: If it becomes foreseeable that the due completion date for the project will slip by three months or more after the planned completion date, or past the latest project completion date a Revised Request for Authority (RRFA) should be submitted to the Capital Accountant.

Q: I want to use my own revenue budget to fund some estates work; do I need to follow these procedures?
A: If the investment is >£200,000 then these procedures DO need to be followed. 

Q: The equipment I am purchasing is over £200k but is fully funded, do I need to follow these procedures?
A: Yes. Approval should be obtained through the Capital Procedures approval documentation.